Convenience stores are experiencing a consumer trend over the last half-decade that has resulted in a major profit spike for the industry. Many large c-store chains are reporting significant numbers in their prepared food sales, such as deli wraps, salads, and pastries.
These items have the promise of being fresher than the chips, and are a healthy alternative to the traditional “roller food.” These prepared food items are flying off commercial refrigerators’ shelves and becoming an ever-present revenue source for convenience stores across the country.
A Challenger Approaches
The sale of fuel is largely profitable to the distributors, but the gas stations don’t make near as much through fuel sales. They rely on food and beverage sales to make a profit. 77% of c-store owners believe that food is their fastest growing source of revenue.
Convenience stores set a record in 2016 with $233 billion in-store food sales. Food sales rank a close second for c-store, with tobacco taking first place. However, the profit made from food sales is double that of tobacco products. The persuasive statistics in food sales are causing convenience stores to focus and find their niche in the market by offering dynamic menus.
The C-Store Advantage
If convenience stores try to sell over-the-counter hot food items, they’ll be fighting a losing battle with the fast food giants. The costs and logistics of hot food service are much steeper than prepared food sales. Without proper backing, c-stores would likely get enveloped in the market. Most consumers at a convenience store are not looking to wait at the counter for their order to be filled; they want a quick, grab-n-go option.
Convenience stores are deciding to go in a different direction and make simpler, healthier options that are pre-made for the customer. This direction targets a different customer base than the standard fast food consumer.
The simplified menu allows c-stores to control all of their daily production metrics before the day begins. Options like sandwiches, chicken salad wraps, salad bowls, burritos, cut fruit, parfait mixes, and hummus/chips allow for fresh, sustainable options that can be pre-produced and packaged daily.
Follow the Trend
Take advantage of the growing popularity of prepared food across the nation. Invest in a variety of prepackaged meal options that cater to the desires of the consumer that doesn’t enjoy unhealthy fast food choices.
Cold food is the base of every pre-made food vendor. At Imbera, we have a complete line of commercial refrigerators that are designed to meet the needs of any foodservice locations, including c-stores. Be proactive and get ahead of the prepared food trend by contacting Imbera at 678-504-6835, and we’ll match you with the equipment that best meets your needs.